Human Rights pressure group, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) says the surge in COVID-19 cases was more of a wakeup call for the Government to act on neglected social service structures.
In its monthly monitoring report for January 2021, ZPP says the month of January marked a false start to the country’s hopes of economic recovery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is clear that January marked a false start to Zimbabwe’s hopes of economic recovery and the surge in the COVID-19 cases was more like a wakeup call for the government to act on the social service systems it had conveniently neglected for decades.
“It therefore remains to be seen if the government will act as they should, and that is to ensure they capacitate the health sector to deal with the healthcare needs of all citizens regardless of class or political affiliation. This is because when disease comes, it does not discriminate, and with international travel under restriction, government officials, who all along flew out for medical attention, must now have to make do with the system they neglected, and if they are ever to learn, the time is now!,” said ZPP
The human rights watchdog implored the Government to provide a clear plan on how it expects to deal with long term changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Government should provide a clear, inclusive plan on how it intends to deal with the long term changes brought about by COVID-19 and this should apply to the health and education sector.
“Government cannot continue to deny the existence of the informal sector, and it needs to have some income and should therefore have a clear plan on how to ensure that the over 70 percent of the population who are in the informal sector, do not become completely vulnerable.
“While social grants – which government has not provided since January – can be welcome, there is need for a long-term solution to the situation, which, according to experts, will be with us for quite a long time.” said the pressure group